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Veselin Topalov vs Ruslan Ponomariov
Corus (2005), Wijk aan Zee NED, rd 1, Jan-15
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen. Bastrikov Variation English Attack (B48)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-15-05  Knight13: Well played, Veselin Topalov! :)
Jan-15-05  notyetagm: 61 ♖b5! wins simply and cleanly. It vacates the d5 square for the knight, cuts off the Black king from the a-file, and prepares the maneuver a6-a7-Rb8-a8=Q, queening the a-pawn. No defense. Even Pono resigns shortly after this winning move.
Jan-15-05  notyetagm: In the final position notice how the White pawn on c3 takes away the critical d4 square from the Black dark-squared bishop, making it difficult for the bishop to stop the passed White a-pawn. <Fight a bishop by putting your pawns on the same color square as the bishop, limiting its mobility and reducing its effectiveness.>
Jan-15-05  artemis: <notyetagm> true, however that is generally a bad way to play in the endgames. If you keep pawns on the color of the opposing bishop, then they are under fire and can be taken. It works here because of the exact position.

For the endgames, you should look at the board as a conglomerate of potential path for your pieces and your pawns. Your assesment of the c3 pawn and its job is 100% correct. It is indirectly guarding the path of the a pawn.

Jan-16-05  jdb22601: the result here surprised me but Ruslan is obvious rusty. the game was beautifully driven home by Topalov
Jan-16-05  iron maiden: I don't think Pono's play had much to do with rust. Between Biel and the Olympiad, he had plenty of games to recuperate from his nine-month sabbatical. It may be pressure, or the ongoing dispute with FIDE, but it is not rust.
Jan-16-05  suenteus po 147: Just like Zurich 1953, some people, even tops GMs, have to lose in this tournament. Unfortunately for Ponomariov and Svidler, they're the first ones in line. <iron maiden> Do you think the ratings will bear out the rankings after 13 rounds, or do you think there will be a couple of upsets due to superior play?
Jan-16-05  iron maiden: There will be upsets, no doubt about that. Grischuk and van Wely will probably get a couple of notable wins.
Jan-17-05  cloybloy: Why not 47. Rh1 right away?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: <cloybloy> Interesting suggestion. After 47. Rh1 black does not lose the queen; but after 47. ... Rg1+ 48. Rxg1 Bxg1 49. Qa8+ Kg7 50. Qxa5 Qe1+ 51. Kb2 Be3 White is a pawn up. Easier to study a position post mortem though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: <Ron> <cloybloy> Indeed 47. Rh1! is the best move, winning a decisive pawn with the decisive double attack 47... Rg1+ 48. Rxg1 Bxg1 49. Qa8+ .
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: Ruslan may have missed a chance to equalize with 14...Rb8! 15.Bf4 e5 16.Bg5 (not 16.Bxe5?? Bd6 ) 16...00 17.Bxf6 Be7 18.b3 Bxf6 19.Ng3 cxb3 20.cxb3 d6 21.Qxd6 Be6 =, when Black has sufficient compensation for the Pawn.
Premium Chessgames Member
  patzer2: An interesting aspect of this game is how Veslin is consistently concerned with maintaining a strong pawn structure, while Ruslan is willing to accept isolated pawns, doubled pawns, backward pawns and even gambit a pawn for the attack. As White is able to hold the position and parry Black's attack, his superior pawn structure becomes obviously decisive.
Jan-24-05  euripides: <Patzer> Yes. One interesting feature of this tournament has been the success of positional rather than mating attacks when castling Q-side against the Sicilian, including games by Leko and Adams as well as ths one. Anand has played a number of such games in the past.
May-21-05  woodenbishop: Grandmaster play by Topalov!


Feb-01-06  AdrianP: <Patzer2> <14...Rb8!?> As, in fact, played in Topalov vs C Lutz, 2002

Qd4 is a very nice piece of prophylaxis, making way for the dark square bishop to retreat to c1 to shore up the b2 pawn, which will be the main focus of Black's counterattack. In the aforementioned game against Lutz, Topalov felt obliged to play b3, which weakened his king position. Qd4 also threatens to (and does...) win the c4-pawn.

Aug-11-12  rookey1986: the way Topalov moves his pieces... it's like a great symphony...
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